By Edward Lee
9:00 AM EDT, October 12, 2011
Matt Schaub ranks in the top 10 among NFL quarterbacks in three separate categories: passing yards (1,377 – ninth), touchdowns (9 – tied for seventh) and passer rating (92.5 – 10th).
But the Houston Texans quarterback revived memories of his inconsistency when he ended the offense’s final drive by tossing an interception in the end zone in Houston’s 25-20 loss to the Oakland Raiders Sunday.
Schaub, who has shown flashes of becoming an elite quarterback in the NFL, got coach Gary Kubiak’s full confidence during his weekly news conference Monday.
“No, like I said yesterday, anytime you get beat, everybody can do something better, me, players, everybody,” Kubiak said. “Matt made a lot of heck of plays yesterday, a lot of good plays, made some that he would like to have back. They were very aggressive in what they were doing defensively and so when you’re being played that way, you’re going to have some ugly plays. The key is, do you make some big plays to burn some of the blitzes and stuff that we got? We did have a lot of big plays, had nine plays over 20 yards, but just didn’t make enough big ones to win the game. I don’t see that. I see room for improvement with everybody, not just Matt. I don’t see some flaw or something if that’s what you’re asking me.”
The last time a Texans game ended on a Schaub interception was on Dec. 13 when former Ravens cornerback Josh Wilson intercepted a Schaub pass and raced into the end zone to end a 34-28 decision in overtime.
Against Oakland, Schaub scrambled out of the pocket to avoid the pass rush and floated to his left. Faced with a decision of whether to run five yards into the end zone or find a receiver, Schaub floated a pass to wide receiver Jacoby Jones, but safety Michael Huff picked off the pass in the end zone.
Kubiak explained Schaub’s thought process.
“We’re working the right side of the field. We got a play going on over there, which was exactly what we wanted,” Kubiak said. “The rush flushing left came across his face and when he went left, I think the first thing Matt thought of was, ‘I’m going to try to score right here.’ He started downhill and here comes a safety. He’s got to make a decision. Do I think he could’ve scored when I go back and look at the film? Probably not. I mean, you got to make that decision. He’s a guy out there. He’s a quarterback and he’s the guy having to make those decisions. Once he knew he couldn’t do it, he’s got to do something with the ball and the game’s over. It didn’t work out.”
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